Bars in busy nightlife districts in Perth are warning a new smoking ban in the City of Vincent may turn patrons away.
The ban is part of the City’s ‘Public Health Plan’ and will come into effect in November.
The city says the change will help reduce exposure to second hand tobacco smoke and will help “create healthy environments”.
City mayor Emma Cole says the smoking ban will improve air quality for visitors.
“The smoke free areas cover many of our most lively streets with alfresco areas and will create healthy environments for people to dine, relax and shop along the street,” she says.
Popular bar districts including Beaufort Street in Mount Lawley, Oxford Street in Leederville and Mount Hawthorn, as well as parts of Scarborough Beach Road, fall under the ban.
Servo in Leederville is one of a handful of bars and club in Perth still allowing patrons to smoke inside.
Head waitress and bartender Tamsin Elder says the ban will almost certainly affect the number of customers and visitors to the area.
“Personally, I think smoking – specifically vaping – is so common in young people these days and if we do enforce a complete ban, I do think it’s going to effect the amount of people who decide to come out and hang out with their friends instead of staying at home,” she says.
“I receive two responses commonly from people coming in when they ask if they can smoke. One of them is that they’re surprised that they’re not allowed to smoke in more of the areas, because a lot of them are outdoor seating areas. Another response is surprise that we allow smoking on our balconies because that is slowly being cast out.”
The City of Vincent said the ban proposal received 345 submissions, with 61 per cent of people supporting smoke-free areas.
Vincent local Jess says the ban is unreasonable.
“I think it’s not a fair imposition because most smokers are fairly respectful and will remove themselves from other people when they are having a cigarette,” she says.
Jess says she will avoid areas that fall under the ban because it’s unreasonable to expect people to trek a kilometre to have a cigarette.
People caught smoking in the ban zone can be fined up to $200.